Go Home Evolution, You're....Creepily Superintelligent?

Dead Leaf Moth

Sometimes, evolution is drunk. Sometimes, it's just plain boring. And then, in cases like the 'Dead Leaf Moth' (Uropyia meticulodina), it's kinda creepily superintelligent. Despite its wings being flat...

...It's not just brown like a dead leaf, it's brown like a curled up, dead leaf

And it's not just brown like a curled up, dead leaf, it depicts a leaf catching the light, with shadows in all the right places and you can even see the veins casting tiny shadows along the curled underside. It's like one of those optical illusions that still work even when you know it's a trick.

Leaf coloured camouflage is one thing. A two-dimensional leaf resemblance is pretty cool. But when you think of all the 'random' mutation that has to come into sync to become a 3D representation of a leaf - including the correct positioning of shadowing and light sheens, the correct positioning and angles of the 'underside' fold of the leaf (and associated veins), etc - it starts making me wonder whether there's something we're missing in the evolutionary process. An octopus can see its surroundings and instantly match its colour and texture via camouflage - can other animals achieve that over long periods of time through some sort of conscious (or subconscious) manipulation of their genetics?

(via Real Monstrosities and @edyong209)

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emlong's picture
Member since:
18 September 2007
Last activity:
1 hour 32 min

Once you have seen a ghost interfere with electronic devices - turn TV sets on and off, trigger house alarms, etc. - you develop an appreciation for the idea that DNA could be altered and mediated by the same forces.

Rick MG's picture
Member since:
2 May 2004
Last activity:
1 min 29 sec

it starts making me wonder whether there's something we're missing in the evolutionary process.

I often wonder the same thing, which is why I find Rupert Sheldrake's ideas so interesting. I don't know to what extent he's correct, but he's at least going in the right direction. Lyall Watson is another who looked past the trees to see the forest. Sure, science explains the mechanics; but for a moth to evolve this way, then at a molecular level it must be aware of its environment. Or is the environment aware of it? Is the entire ecosystem, from leaf to tree to bug to mammal, conscious? There's something at work here that reductionism falls way short of explaining.

~ * ~

@levitatingcat

Forestforthetrees's picture
Member since:
8 September 2013
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1 year 8 weeks

Human Devolution by Michael Cremo is a great alternative to Darwin's theory--it takes a look at the issue from a Vedic perspective.

Maybe the mechanistic process of evolution is still correct--the traits that lead to survival of the species are the ones that get passed on and spread around--but their genesis is not 'random' mutations, but some sort of self or externally directed process.

red pill junkie's picture
Member since:
12 April 2007
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3 hours 41 min

My friends Darren & Graham recently interviewed Cremo for The Grimerica Show [link].

Oh yeah, the idiot with the heavy Latin accent is me ;)

It's not the depth of the rabbit hole that bugs me...
It's all the rabbit SH*T you stumble over on your way down!!!

Red Pill Junkie
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@red_pill_junkie

RabbitDawg's picture
Member since:
13 September 2011
Last activity:
1 year 11 weeks

Look for the Octopus (from National Public Radio's Science Friday program). The way this video is framed, it's not hard to guess correctly, but I promise you won't see it coming.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eS-USrwuUfA

For verification, this is the link to the original source
http://www.sciencefriday.com/video/08/05...

red pill junkie's picture
Member since:
12 April 2007
Last activity:
3 hours 41 min

Looks a lot like my boss's dog, Bruno.

Hope it's less pampered ;)

It's not the depth of the rabbit hole that bugs me...
It's all the rabbit SH*T you stumble over on your way down!!!

Red Pill Junkie
_______________
@red_pill_junkie